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Mental Health in the military?
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Mental Health in the military?

Hello, I was thinking about joining the military and following the footsteps of my uncle and of my friend (who both fought in Bosnia). I'm thinking of finishing this bit of tech school I'm doing now and signing up to go fight in Afghanistan (I'm in Canada so no Iraq war for us).
I've been wondering though, what's the army's usual take on recruits with mental illness? I know that the CF (Canadian Forces) are supposed to be pretty accepting of this but I'm not sure if they'd let me join or not seeing as I have bipolar disorder.
Does anyone have any idea on this? I'd go ask at the recruitment office but I have school while it's open and it's pretty far away.
If it matters the infantry regiment I'd most likely be in is the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry at CFB Edmonton. I realize that most, if not all, of the people in this forum are in the states so I'm not sure if you'll be able to help me too much but it's worth a shot.
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535822_tn?1389452880
Every thing is worth a shot Boulet..if you dont try you will never know,I dont have a definitive answer for you, have you tried to google for information I will take a look and post anything I find, I will put in Canada.
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535822_tn?1389452880
Good News for you the answer is YES you can join at least here in the US I didnt actually get the information about Canada but I am sure its there so check it out its possible its the same ..put in Canadian Forums. Good Luck you may be onto a winner,
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915369_tn?1355318410
Thanks Margy, if I could get into the army if I was in the states I'm sure that the CF would have similar standards. I'll go take a spin around their site and if I can't find anything there I'll just go to the recruitment office when I have some time.
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535822_tn?1389452880
Yes thats the way to go, be positive and you'll crack it,break a leg and let us know if you get in...
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Avatar_m_tn
I read a huge list once of things that are disqualifying for the US army and one I remember was an illness with psychotic features.  I don't know much about how it works and that could of changed since I read that and there's medical waivers but some conditions I think cannot be waived but again I don't know much about how it works so I don't know which conditions fit this.

Your best bet is to just actually go to the recruitment center and find out from the recruiters first hand.
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Avatar_m_tn
I know that they are more lenient towards people joining who have Bipolar Disorder rather than people who have Schizophrenia which is like a "show stopper" when they're checking if you're fit to join.
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955560_tn?1250198145
If you have any bi polar or mental problem they will not accept you.If you tell them at the beginning I had a good friend that was in the ARMY and they found out he had some mental problems..And they honarable discharged him so he is not longer in the Army..So if you tell them ahead of time they might not let you join...But i am not sure i am not in the military i just have lived around the military life but i guess it will never hurt to check in on that to see...
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Avatar_m_tn
I hope you've seriously thought it through, there's a ton of stress involved that could easily cause you to relapse and/or break down.  The basic training is very stressful let alone if you're put in a combat situation.  If you're sure then go for it but if not then don't.  My mom joined the military and during basic training she kept sending letters about how she wanted to die and how she was in hell.
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915369_tn?1355318410
I'm sure, if for some reason I can't find a job as an electrician then I'd join the military, I'd be under my uncle. I've been doing all the requirements for basic training since I started thinking about it, push ups, sit ups, chin ups, and running so that I won't have to worry about the physical part and I can put my focus on the mental part of basic. I know it won't be easy, but that's part of the experience.
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535822_tn?1389452880
I googled it Boulet so unless they are sending out misinformation they said yes it was okay, maybe it has to be under control ,so do google your self ..
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730826_tn?1317946934
My husband is artillery in the CF. They do go through a bunch of exams when you join the army that assesses your mental and physical health. I dont know if bipolar woudl be a problem or not. It probably depends on the severity. They dont want anyone who will do the wrong thing. I know for a fact if you have aids you can not be in the army, its too risky for everyone else. Give it a shot you never know.
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Avatar_f_tn
My hubby is retired Marine Colonel.  If I recall correctly, mental health is an issue to any US service branch.  For reasons Lacey stated.(by the way, meant to thank Lucey for starting this group, you're an angel)

Besides, I thnk it is for your own wellbeing by not going to the front line of a war.  Coming back home and reenter society will be much more difficult than most people could ever imagine even if you get to come back in one piece.

You can serve your country in many different ways...you can also help destroying world terrorists, you don't have to go to Afgan to fight.  Just my 2 cents, I hope I didn't offend anyone by saying this.

God bless.



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535822_tn?1389452880
Maybe I got it wrong when I  said it was a yes, I went and googled for information  that was what it said ,on the site  I will check again as I may have been giving you incorrect information and that was not my intent .as I told you you could google to find out ..
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535822_tn?1389452880
Your best bet would be to go in person to one of the Recruiting offices..Good Luck
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535822_tn?1389452880
I apologise I checked again  there are mixed messages on the sites I googled, so disregard my information originally given to you.by me ...
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Avatar_f_tn
The love of my life is currently serving in Afghanistan with the Patricias in Infantry.

The stress of everyday training through your basic and everyday following with training to serve overseas (which takes a good almost year, it's not right away), would be well over enough to trigger your disorder. BiPolar is a serious disorder to deal with and I think perhaps you should do more research on the disorder itself before thinking about joining the military.

Army may seem all like fun and games and a life to be pumped on. But believe you me, I seen what it did to my dad, and what it did to him when he served in Afghanistan ... I wouldn't ever want to see someone else like that. I am concerned about how my man will be when he gets back, but he is 100% mentally sound and very well trained and good at what he does.

You also have to consider any one you have in your life, such as a girlfriend, kids and family .... because these people will be getting left behind alot, and if you get over there and end up having an episode or something, think of what it will do not only to yourself but to them as well. They would be worried enough as is if you ever went over there, let alone if something happened to you because your illness went awall one day because of the stress and circumstances.

I think you should physically go into a recruit unit and speak to them directly about this issue instead of writting on here looking for answers (I don't think this is something that anyone bu the pros could help you with). Get answers from those who know 100% what they are talking about and what the requirements are to meet, as well as your options.

Maybe with your illness you won't be accepted as a Patricia in Infantry (which is likely) ... but there are a ton of other careers within the military that maybe they would take you for. Explore your options and do all your research and you should find what your ment to do. Good Luck to you.
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